Gascon Indicates Some Victims - Rich and Famous Ones - Actually Deserve Justice
Under ordinary circumstances, Gascon would seek the least number of counts possible, even for such a horrendous crime as breaking into someone's home and shooting them dead
December 12, 2021
December 7, 2021 - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon proudly announced yesterday the charging of a Los Angeles man with the murder of Jacqueline Avant. This particular press release was a vast departure for the "criminal justice reform" DA, whose press releases rarely involve boasts about catching violent criminals. His more recent press releases include information about a restorative justice project, an anti-racism initiative, and moves to reform juvenile three-strikes laws. Gaining convictions for criminals is not high on his priority list.
But Gascon was eager to let the public know he'd actually charged Aariel Maynor, 29, with a number of crimes, including murder, attempted murder, being a felon with a firearm, and residential burglary with a person present. Most surprising of all, Gascon is charging Maynor additionally with using an assault long barrel pistol during his commission of the crimes. That is what is known as an enhancement, and Gascon forbade his staff from charging enhancements upon taking office in December, 2020. But for a crime against the 81-year-old beloved philanthropist wife of Clarence Avant, mega-famous music industry mogul, Gascon can make an exception.
Under ordinary circumstances, Gascon would seek the least number of counts possible, even for such a horrendous crime as breaking into someone's home and shooting them dead. He would not add any enhancements to the possible sentencing. Aariel Maynor is Gascon's kind of criminal. According to Gascon, criminals are themselves victims. It is counter-productive to lock them up and financially costly. Prison does not prevent recidivism, according to Gascon, so why bother? Better to give them the shortest sentence possible. Gascon's self-described list of accomplishments in his first 100 days in office included "a 71 percent reduction in enhancements filed" in sentencing demands. "We are doing all of this because the science and data tell us so," Gascon claimed in his press release at the time.
Science and data did not help Mrs. Avant. It has not helped the record number of homicide victims in Los Angeles County, 179 of them in the City of LA alone during the first half of the year - a 31.6% increase over the previous year.
But perhaps Jacqueline Avant, at least, and her family will receive some form of justice with the spotlight shining on the county's reluctant-to-prosecute-crime DA. Under these circumstances, George Gascon will be forced to act like the prosecutor he was elected to be.